Healthcare News March 8, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: IPAB repeal moves forward

    The House will move ahead Thursday in its push to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a controversial cost-cutting panel established under the healthcare reform law. The Ways and Means Committee is marking up Rep. Phil Roe’s (R-Tenn.) IPAB repeal bill, which easily cleared the Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this week.

    The White House has aggressively defended the IPAB, which it pushed into the healthcare bill despite opposition from many House Democrats. Roe’s bill has bipartisan support and enough co-sponsors to easily pass the House once it comes to the floor.

    The Ways and Means markup gets started at 9 a.m.

    Ultrasound bill: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Wednesday signed a controversial bill requiring women to have an ultrasound before they can seek an abortion. An earlier version of the same bill would have required invasive transvaginal ultrasounds in some cases, but McDonnell and state Republicans abandoned that provision amid strong criticism from advocates for women’s health.

    Planned Parenthood said the revised measure that McDonnell signed Wednesday is still unacceptable.

  • Bachmann warns healthcare reform law could be used to limit family birth rates

    Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) suggested Tuesday that President Obama’s health care reform law could give the government a dangerous amount of power in individual’s health care decisions, going as far as to say “it isn’t farfetched” that the federal government could try to limit birth rates by refusing to cover associated health costs after a family has a certain number of children.

  • Limbaugh denies he’s losing money amid controversy over ‘slut’ remark

    Limbaugh, at the epicenter of a controversy over the Obama contraception mandate, denied his days on the air are numbered.”

  • Report: Americans still struggling with medical debt

    One in 5 Americans is in a family that’s struggling with medical debt, says a new report, with 1 in 10 living in a family that can’t pay the bills at all.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on the financial burden of medical care compiled data from January through June of last year. The survey of 52,000 people is believed to be the largest of its kind ever.

    The report found that low-income people had the hardest time paying the bills: More than 40 percent of percent of poor and near-poor people under the age of 65 were in families with medical debt, versus 31 percent for the nonpoor. 

    {mosads}The results also varied with age, with younger Americans more likely to live in families that are struggling with the cost of medical care. Almost 24 percent of children under the age of 18 were in families having problems paying medical bills, compared with 21 percent of adults aged 18–64, 10 percent of adults aged 65–74, and 7 percent of adults aged 75 and over.

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